Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: “I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems.” - UBITENNIS
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: “I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems.”

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS 2014 – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pre-tournament interview.

Q. Can you just describe your season so far, how you feel about it.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I can describe it. It was not that good. Usually I start better in my year, but, you know, it’s tennis. I had many problems last year on the second half of the season with my knees and it was not easy to deal with it, so I lost a bit of time with that.

And then to come back and find your best level is never it’s never easy. So it was a tough start, but, you know, I still believe I can play good tennis. During all these months I worked pretty hard. So I think I’m ready, anyway, now to play.

 

Q. How far from your, you know, consistently good level do you think you are?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I don’t know yet, to be honest, because I didn’t play enough matches to be sure. But anyway, I know, like I said just before, I know I worked hard, and, you know, I can’t do more than this.

 

Q. Do you think that then the pressure is off you coming into Roland Garros? You have had good results here because of your season so far. Do you think you’ll be a lot calmer not expecting as much as perhaps when you’ve been doing very, very well?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Not really, because anyway, you know, I expect a lot from me, especially here. I know it’s always a lot of pressure, but I think now I have enough experience. I played a few times Roland Garros. I know how is it.

I always play my best tennis here, so I hope I will continue on this way and play good tennis.

 

Q. There are lots of Frenchmen, French players in the draw doing well.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: As always.

 

Q. Perhaps too many (smiling). Does that take the pressure off? What does that show about French tennis?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: It show we have a good it shows that the Federation did a great job with the young guys. Now we don’t have, you know, a top player, I mean, in the top 5 since a couple of years now, so we need to improve on this.

But anyway, it shows that the French tennis is in good shape.

 

Q. You have been one of the players who we say in English has been knocking on the door of, you know, the top 5, 4, against the guys that are winning most of the majors. Do you feel now that because of Wawrinka that that door is a little bit more open, or is it still the same door is there?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: You know, I always even before Stan, you know, I always tried to keep the door open (smiling). You know, since I’m playing tennis, you know, I dream about the best results, the best tournaments, and I will continue. That’s how I will give my best on the court.

So I think it’s my philosophy, and I will never think it’s impossible to do it.

 

Q. Do you feel that Rafa is more vulnerable this year on clay, or is it crazy to think that in best of five sets?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: If we have to look at the results these last couple of weeks, of course we can say that. But when we look, you know, in the past, there is no reason to say Rafa is different than the other years.

You know, he’s still the same guy, the same champion, and I’m sure he wants to win again here in Roland Garros.

 

Q. How do you feel physically, before anything else, and also mentally before this very special tournament for you? How did you feel when you practiced here?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I feel pretty good, but you should never rely on what is happening during practice, because only matches will show what you are worth.

So today, yes, I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems. I’m very happy to be here.

So for the time being all the green lights are on, and I hope I’m going to have a good tournament in this French Open.

 

Q. It’s never easy to play against a French player, and even less in this tournament. You’re going to play a French player you know well, but it’s also a way of getting into the tournament fast.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, whatever, French or not, you rarely get into the tournament first round already. I will try my best on the court. Every time you step on to the court you’re just beyond the door and you know it’s going to be a new experience. Each time it is over it is always a new satisfaction.

With Edouard, we played several times against each other. I have the feeling that whatever happens, I always play Edouard the first round here. I don’t know why.

So it’s not funny, but…

It’s not funny for me, but I think it’s not funny for him, either.

So we’re going to play, and the best one will go to second round. Same thing as against a final.

 

Q. Apparently you’re fit, but maybe you have some issues with confidence. Do you believe it’s going to come back?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, I have a way of doing things. I’ve did things in my career, I met some goals that seemed maybe far away, and so at this stage of my career, what I’m doing is saying I want to be the best. I want to be best. I want to do things better.

And of course because of that I’m trying to change some things. And I did change many things, in fact, hoping that it’s going to be better.

But I also know it might take time, and you have to work a lot on these things. So long term work is important, too, because as soon as I try something new, if it doesn’t work out right, if I try to do something else, every time I change I’ll never make progress.

So what I’m doing is just choosing something I want to improve and work on it and do it as much as I can, knowing it might take some time before it is efficient.

Of course if after a whole year it’s still not working, well, then, maybe I’ll think about it and maybe change. But for the time being, the goal well, I’m talking about one year. It can be two years or three years. Depends on how strongly I believe in my project.

But anyway, it’s my project. What people say about me doesn’t matter. The important thing is when it is my project, I want to ‘m the one who wants to win the big tournaments.

 

Q. So you might play Djoko in the round of 16. Is it better than in the semis?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, to win a tournament like this you have to beat them all anyway. Whether I’m playing first round or playing the final    or maybe for the French Open for the crowd it’s different, but for me it doesn’t change anything.

I already played round of 16 matches and finals and semifinals. So as I said before, I always want to go further, and that’s what is interesting to me. I don’t want to repeat things and do the same things. I want to do things better.

One day if I believe I cannot make any more progress, I’ll be sitting here in front of you saying, Don’t count on me anymore. I’ll tell you I know I can’t do more.

But if I still am trying, it means I believe I can.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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